Album Review: The Halo Effect – Days of the Lost (Nuclear Blast Records)

Featuring guitar heroes & songwriting wizards Jesper Strömblad and Niclas Engelin (ex- In Flames), singer Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquility), as well as former In Flames members Peter Iwers and Daniel Svensson, The Halo Effect is a new Swedish melodic death metal beast. They will release their debut album, Days of the Lost on August 12th, 2022.

One of 2022’s most anticipated releases, The Halo Effect’s debut album is coming with some lofty expectations. Made up of a group of melo-death legends who are synonymous with the scene, Days of the Lost is what this group do and do so bloody well. Specifically, the famous Gothenburg style, after all, it runs through their veins.

If you’re unsure what that means, it basically describes a group of bands from the Gothenburg scene that all rose to prominence on the back of melodic death metal. Bands like At the Gates, In Flames, Dark Tranquillity etc. so wide-spread is the term, that it’s used to describe a lot of melo-death that emanates from the Swedish scene regardless of how close to Gothenburg the band actually is.

Genre labels be damned though, The Halo Effect aren’t looking to change the world, they’re just having a good time making music they enjoy and hopefully listeners will too.

They certainly go out of their way to make sure that’s the case with the first two tracks: Shadowminds and the title track. The former with thick rivets of heaviness balancing out the frenzied melodies. Whereas the latter is a class expulsion of exciting, energetic and frantic melo-death.

The guitar melodies of The Needless End have quite an emotional and progressive touch to them and when combined with the passionate vocal display, makes for a thrilling listen. Followed by the blend of beautiful instrumentation and frantic heaviness that Conditional features. Before In Broken Trust brings us to the halfway point of the album with a bang. A loud, chunky and darkly-tinged bang. Albeit, one that continues to feature the melodic grandeur that makes The Halo Effect’s brand of melo-death infinitely appealing. It’s also the first track to feature clean vocals, a prominent feature of this song.

At this halfway point it’s fair to say that if you’re not head over heels with this record, you’re not likely to be, come the end. That’s not to suggest the quality dips in the latter half, rather it’s a continuation of what The Halo Effect have been doing so well so far.

The enormity of their accomplishment here is further realised with the sinister melody and vocals of Gateways. A track that really comes to life with its chorus. Then it’s a humongous riff-monster in the form of A Truth Worth Lying, a touch of groove, helping get the blood pumping furiously in veins. Before Feel What I Believe and Last Of Our Kind bring us into the twilight portion of the album with intense blasts of melodic heaviness. Music that you just want to move too.

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Finally, this exceptionally strong debut wraps up with one last blazing discharge of melo-death gold with The Most Alone. The unbridled talents of this group making this another exciting and captivating song.

Melo-death through and through, The Halo Effect may not be looking to change the world with their music but they’re going to make an impact none the less. A killer debut album.

The Halo Effect – Days of the Lost Full Track Listing:

1. Shadowminds
2. Days of the Lost
3. The Needless End
4. Conditional
5. In Broken Trust
6. Gateways
7. A Truth Worth Lying
8. Feel What I Believe
9. Last Of Our Kind
10. The Most Alone


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The Halo Effect - Days of the Lost (Nuclear Blast Records)
  • The Final Score - 8/10
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